Chaos: The Battle of Wizards is a turn-based and grid-based strategy game released for the ZX Spectrum in 1985.
In Chaos, players control wizards attempting to defeat opposing wizards by casting a variety of spells. However, the spells each player is given at the start of a game are completely random, can only be cast once, and have a chance of failure, depending on the rules of law and chaos. All spells in the game are classified as either Lawful, Chaotic, or Neutral. Casting a Lawful spell will increase the game's Law level; likewise, casting Chaotic spells will increase the game's Chaos level. With a high enough Law or Chaos level, the players may cast more powerful Lawful or Chaotic spells with a higher chance of success. A key strategy is to keep the law/chaos level in a direction that is appropriate for your spells.
The map is single screen, giving the game a simple but claustrophobic feel and while initially blank quickly fills up with gooey blob, trees, castles and dead creatures. One neat feature is with the appropriate spells dead creatures can be re-animated as un-dead versions, which are very deadly.
There are many different spells in Chaos, but they can all be placed into one of several groups.
- Creature spells: The majority of the game's spells are summonable creatures under the player's control. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and have various strengths and weaknesses. Creatures are judged by their attack power, defense rating, and movement speed. Before attempting to cast the spell, the player is given the option of summoning the creature as an illusion. An illusion creature has all the same abilities and stats as a normal summon, but the spell will have a 100% chance of success. Opposing wizards can cast the Disbelieve spell on an illusion creature to instantly destroy it. However, there's no way to tell a creature summoned as an illusion from one summoned normally.
- Mounts: Some summoned creatures can be riden by the player. Mounted players are immune to damage while on their mount, until it is killed, at which point they're knocked off of it.
- Flying mounts: Flying mounts differ from standard ground mounts in that they can pass straight over objects and creatures on the map.
- Undead creatures: Summoned creatures that are undead can only be attacked by other undead creatures.
- Direct damage: There are six direct damage spells, with two belonging to the Law school and two belonging to the Chaos school.
- Woods: Two spells in Chaos will summon an array of eight trees around the caster. Magic Wood will summon eight magical trees. If a wizard enters one of these trees, they will eventually be granted a new spell. Shadow Wood will summon eight shadowy trees under the wizard's control. These trees are stationary, but can attack adjacent enemies.
- Castles: Similar to the Wood spells, there are two spells that allow the wizard to summon castles. These two spells are called Magic Castle and Dark Citadel. Also similar to these two spells is the Wall spell, which allows the wizard to create four walls on the map.
- Gooey Blob/Magic Fire: When summoned, a Gooey Blob or Magic Fire will split in half and duplicate itself on the game board once per turn. A summoned creature will be stuck if engulfed by a Gooey Blob, or completely destroyed if taken over by a Magic Fire.
- Self buffs: There are two spells that increase attack power, two that increase defense, one that allows ranged attacks, one that allows the wizard to fly, and one that increases defense and movement speed.
- Law/Chaos: Several spells in the game will simply raise the current Law or Chaos level. These abilities come in several types, with various amounts of effectiveness.
- Raise Dead: Allows the caster to resurrect any dead creature on the map, bringing it under their control. The newly resurrected creauture is exactly the same, but it is now considered undead.
- Subversion: Attempts to convert a summoned creature under enemy control, bringing it to his side.
- Disbelieve: This spell is given to every wizard, and is the only spell in the game that can be cast mulitple times. Disbelieve will always destroy enemy creatures that were summoned as illusions, but has no effect on those thare were not.
- Turmoil: An incredibly rare spell a player can only aquire while inside a Magic Wood, the Turmoil spell will scramble the entire game board, moving every creature and object to a different place on the map.